Making an Impact in Communities around the World: ULI Global Advisory Services FY 2020 Activity Report 

Credit: ULI

For more than 70 years, ULI members have delivered change in cities through the Institute’s Advisory Services. Whether it be the devastation of disaster, food access and healthy design, or a shortage of housing choices, Advisory Services panels have offered unbiased and independent solutions to the most complex problems facing communities.  

The ULI Global Advisory Services FY 2020 Activity Report provides a summary of the programs activities and priorities during FY 2020 (July 2019June 2020). Across Europe, Asia, and the

Americas, ULI’s Advisory Services engaged with 21 communities to provide land use expertise.    

Credit: ULI

The Activity Report highlights eight panels completed for cities in the Americas and Asia.

Enhancing Community Connections and Improving Land Use in Pomona, California 

At the beginning of the fiscal year, Advisory Services held a panel in Pomona, California. Panelists from the United States and France provided recommendations to Fairplex, a site that hosts the Los Angeles County Fair. The panel, chaired by Glenda Hood, provided insight on improving land use, sustainability, and use of existing assets; creating economic impact; improving the flow of visitors from future mass transit resources; enhancing programming and visitor experience; community partnerships; and connecting with and engaging the local community.  

The panel created a framework plan and design possibilities to guide Fairplex in its future growth. Miguel A. Santana, president and CEO of Fairplex, reflected on the panel’s work: 

 “Perhaps the strongest component of ULI’s plan was seeking out the community’s input. As a community-benefit organization, and physically being located in a residential neighborhood, our neighbors and community partners are an extension of our team. ULI sought suggestions, concerns, and big ideas from the community, making them feel like a part the process. That was priceless.”  

The Pomona panel was chaired by Glenda Hood, Hood Partners, Orlando; with Parag Agrawal, city of Milton (now with the city of Charlottesville, Virginia), Milton, Georgia;Nat Bottigheimer, State Programs and New Jersey Regional Plan Association, Princeton, New Jersey; Ari Erlichman, Le Grand Réservoir (now with Teamcity Partners), Paris;Jonathan Gelber, Bleakly Advisory Group, Atlanta;Michael Maurer, Perkins Eastman, Chicago; and Stephanie Pankiewicz, LandDesign, Alexandria, Virginia.  

Read the panel report 

Planning for Resilience and Improving Affordable Housing in St. Thomas, USVI 

In August 2019, Advisory Services partnered with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands to hold a panel for the island of St. Thomas, USVI. Chaired by Adam Weers, the panel provided recommendations on implementation of new recovery and resilience techniques; an equitable economic development vision; integration of the existing affordable housing stock into the surrounding neighborhood; and placemaking in the study area. The panel also examined the built environment, mobility, and governance in the territory. This panel built on the work of a 2018 panel for St. Croix, USVI.  

During the panel week, Hurricane Dorian passed through the Caribbean, hitting St. Thomas as a category 1 hurricane. While it delayed the panel’s final presentation, it afforded the panel an opportunity to see firsthand the collective community resilience of St. Thomas. “The Advisory Services panelists team were honored to assist the government of the Virgin Islands in planning for the revitalization as part of the ongoing recovery efforts throughout USVI,” said Weers. “We hope the panel’s work this year provided useful and actionable recommendations, and we hope to find ways for ULI to continue to support USVI leadership as they move toward implementation.” 

 According to panel sponsor Robert Graham, director of the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, “The framework for a ULI Advisory Services panel maximizes the collaboration and enhancement of broad stakeholder vision coupled with diverse global expertise in real estate development that yields valuable recommendations for the study area. The Virgin Islands Housing Authority implemented all relevant ULI recommendations that infused global best practices into our $1 billion redevelopment plan for 3,000 units of affordable housing.” 

The St. Thomas panel was chaired by Adam Weers, Trammell Crow Company, Washington, D.C.; with Neil Albert, DowntownDC BID, Washington, D.C.; Daniel Anderton, Dewberry, Germantown, Maryland;Allison Anolik, AECOM, Raleigh, North Carolina; R. David Gibbs, renewable energy consultant, Brooklyn, New York; Marion Mollegen McFadden, Enterprise Community Partners, Washington, D.C.; and Tyrone Rachal, Red Rock Global Capital Partners, Atlanta.  

Read the panel report 

Regeneration of a Commercial and Industrial Urban Neighborhood in Seoul, South Korea  

In October 2019, Advisory Services in the Asia Pacific region held a panel in Seoul, South Korea. The panel was asked to explore how to balance the need to create a modern, functioning commercial and residential district while also preserving the SewoonSangaa District’s cultural and historical integrity. 

This was the first time that many of the panelists had visited Seoul, and members were impressed by both the city’s vibrancy and the harmonious coexistence of old and new. The panel agreed with the basic tenets of the 2014 master plan that had been created for the SewoonSangaa, but, at the same time, the panel believed that there is a clear need for more active government intervention to address the district’s immediate needs. These included ensuring public safety, building basic infrastructure such as streets and public facilities, and upgrading the arcade buildings. 

The regeneration of Sewoon District is inevitable given the pressure of market forces in the surrounding area. However, the longer regeneration takes, the more all stakeholders will suffer. The panel concluded that a comprehensive regeneration plan embraced by all key groups will be more efficient and create better outcomes than would be obtained through a piecemeal approach. 

The Seoul panel was chaired by Wayne Ratkovichthe Ratkovich Company, Los Angeles; with Kate Bicknell, Development Oxford Properties, New York City; Marty Borko, ULI Los Angeles, Los Angeles; Olaf Cunitz, Frankfurt, Germany; Scott Dunn, Southeast Asia AECOM, Singapore; Khoo Teng Chye, Centre for Liveable Cities, Singapore; Ian Mackie, LaSalle Investment Management, Brisbane, Australia; Patrick Phillips, former ULI CEO, Washington, D.C.; Greg Yager, GW Design Consultant Group, Shanghai, China; and Gary Yardley, Capital and Counties, London.  

At the end of fiscal year 2020, the program transitioned to holding virtual offerings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first virtual Advisory Services panel was held for Montgomery County, Maryland, in April 2020. Read about the program’s shift to virtual Advisory Services panels in this story.   

The Activity Report also covers the Advisory Services program initiatives (metrics and impact evaluation, program partnerships, program integration, and systems improvement), FY 2020 technical assistance panels carried out by district councils, and panel statistics.  

Read the panel report 

The Global Advisory Services FY 2020 Activity Report is available on Knowledge Finder.

To bring an Advisory Services panel to your community, contact Advisory Services today. ULI Members are also invited to apply to serve as a panelist on a future Advisory Services panel by submitting an inquiry on Navigator.

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